Monday, July 19, 2010

Reincarnation In The Garden

This is the time of year we begin to get a little down when we look at some of our plants in the garden. First, the incessant rains, producing huge plants, then the heat shriveling them up.  No matter how much we fertilize and water some plants have not done well. 

Dahlias are not blooming and even though watered daily are drying out.  Some of the plantings are burned.
I am going to concentrate on just one area, my hayracks on the garden shed.  Last year they were beautiful, but I did make a few changes in plants this year which could be the problem.

Last Year
Well, I couldn't imagine looking at them for the rest of the summer and into fall, so I decided to do something I have never done before - redo the hayracks into something totally different.  It has always been my rule that by the middle of June, I am done with container gardening, not worth adding anything else or even replacing plants that did not live up to expectations.  I just merely yanked them and lived with what was left.

If I am going to spend the time doing this in 93 degree heat, I am going to do it right, adding new moisture control soil, along with some soil moist and some moss on top of the soil for protection.

I will even out the verbena, mix in the soil moist with some new potting soil.
The dahlias have not done well in any container this year, only in the vegetable garden and in the border.  All the container dahlias are going into the vegetable bed when I cut down the Ice Carnival Daylilies.  We will
see if they come back to life.

       Replanted dahlias in veggie garden between trimmed daylilies.
Does anyone else have plants that need a reincarnation this year?  I am seeing lots of beauties on the web, but not much that looks like some of my throw aways. 

Replanted Hayracks

This poor thing certainly needs some help.  It is scorched even though it was watered every day.  I will cut it back, fertilize, and turn it to a better side that had more shade.

A little better!
Dahlias planted in the veggie garden in spring

Trimmed my Costco containers, daisies and petunias

 I mossed the inside of my containers that  face that wicked west sun.  It will cut down on the water evaporation.
Home Depot had a  fresh shipment of annuals, so there must be many who do this each year even though it's a new venture for me.  Not only were people loading up on their great perennial sale, but several were walking out with baskets of petunias and carts of annuals. 

As I walked out with my fresh new annuals and moisture control soil, the person behind me had a cart full of mums.  Yikes!  In another few weeks, I'll be thinking pumpkins?


Becca's Dirt said...

I was kinda feeling like a terrible plant mother because my plants are looking kinda puny too. This weekend I did cut back on a few plants but didn't finish. When I do finish there will be bare spots to fill in. I hope our local home depot or lowes has some new plants. I like your re-do on the hayrack.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

It is so hard to keep plants looking good with the heat we have been having.My annuals that had grown so big at the beginning are now flopping over in the pots and look terrible. The insects seem to be so bad this year munching on everything. It is a good time to get some new annuals at great prices now to replace some that are so lacking now. It seems like you have a great idea going and with the moss and soil moist products it will keep them healthier. I have had to really trim back my nicotiana and petunias which were all going to seed already.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Becca, U din't ever remember so many annuals to choose from (not overgrown) at Home Depot this time of year. They really hit the market right with the heat and rain we have had.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, even my geraniums have come to a standstill in the heat, no new buds on the back containers. Oh well, soon we will be complaining about the cold!


GardenJoy4Me said...

Eileen .. I have to give up some of my containers about now .. I had wonderful dwarf dill and fennel in one big pot but because I had butterfly caterpillars I just left them alone aside from watering .. now they are chomped down and looking miserable and all the butterfly kids left home .. this year my containers look next to dreadful and the garden needs more of my time so I have to sacrifice the nasty looking pots .. and you are SO right ! we will be thinking pumpkins not so long from now ? hahaha
Joy .. at least they stay looking better longer ??

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Yeah! I may welcome fall this year, pumpkins and all. My husband always says those mums are a waste of money because in our area they do not normally come back. However this year those wonderful perfect flowers may appeal to me.


LC said...

You've done something that I consider every year and don't get around to... I am however going to start flowering cabbages... it's just a bit early yet, but in the past they carried color through December.Larry

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Larry, I do buy flowering cabbage and mums (which my husband feels are a waste of money) each year to keep the garden going. You are right the cabbage lasts until December, not the mums. Although, I do have one very large mum that I overwintered in the veggie garden last year and then transplanted in the spring. Maybe I will do that will all of my mums this year.


Rose said...

Wow, I am having the same problem with some viola's I planted in some wooden planter boxes along my deck in spring. At first they grew beautifully, but being new to gardening I didn't realize how tall the would grow, to tall for that box, and they started to fall forward over time, now midsummer I have had to snip the dead ones to the point that it no longer looks good, I have even put some fresh soil in the hopes this helps and they come back, but I am thinking it's to late in the game also. So I will probably just let it be, but just keep watering. I also had some hanging Lobelia plants that I think we put out too early that are giving up. We were a bit anxious in starting our gardening this year, being new to this and all, it's our first home. I know better now to wait a bit, we had some late frost in our area. But yeah I was at home depot over weekend and saw the mums also, can't believe it will b that time already. I am hoping to try my hand with those and hopefully they will turn out well. Good luck to you also.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Rose, I do not know what zone you are in but violas and pansies do not do well in the heat. Lobelia also does not do well in the heat, and I have a couple that look pretty well done.

I do buy mums but it is unlikely that they well come back the following year. I usually put them in farmers baskets around the garden. However, last year I transplanted some to winter over in the veggie garden, and they came back. I then transferred a couple to the garden and they are very large right now.


meemsnyc said...

We planted Dahlias too but the heat was too much for them. They were less than spectacular.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I know, mine look pretty bad but I did move them into the veggie garden. We'll see what happens.


garden girl said...

I often wish I could grow more full-sun beauties, but summers like this I appreciate all our shade even more.

I hope your transplants are happier Eileen, and your efforts replanting the hayracks are rewarded with happier, healthier plants and more beautiful, bountiful blooms.

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, what a great blog you have! I live in WI and we are having rain and storms every day almost, so my containers are getting ratty and tired of being hauled into the garage at least once a day. (I've been questioning my sanity on why I planted so many in the first place...)

I'm going to try your suggestion and look for something fresh to plant in some of them. Thank you!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

I should have prepared my containers better for the heat and sun in my back garden. I planned on mossing around the plants, over the soil, and I never did. I am doing it now and the soil seems to be staying moist.

When the heavy rains stopped here, that's when we got the heat.


joey said...

This heat has all of us going crazy, Eileen. Your garden looks 'marvelous'!

Zoey said...

Hi Eileen,
I am loving your blog! What great gardens you have. I am sure those new planters will look spectacular right through fall. You were lucky to still find annuals to plant.

I am becoming a follower so I don't miss any new posts!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks for visiting Zoey,

Thankfully, I have only had to replant those hayracks. I think the rest are salvageable.